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Auckland City Arena Update

MEDIA RELEASE


12 February 2004


Auckland City Arena Update

Quay Park Arena Management Limited, the consortium planning to build the Auckland City Arena, today lodged its revised designs for resource consent.

Quay Park Arena Management’s application is for a variation to the resource consent granted last July for an indoor arena at Quay Park, which is in downtown Auckland.

While the original resource consent was granted to a previous proponent of the arena, it remains valid for all aspects of the new proposal except the design and appearance of the building.

Consortium chairperson Kevin Jacobsen O.A.M. says a revised design has been developed in consultation with the arena’s principal funder, Auckland City Council, as well as the sports and entertainment organisations which will use it.

“We propose a very functional and technically sophisticated venue that will also be a new icon on the Auckland cityscape,” Mr Jacobsen says.

“It will be uniquely Auckland on the outside and the most multi-functional, flexible arena in the world on the inside.”

Quay Park Arena Management Limited signed a heads of agreement in December to work with the council on the development of the proposed arena.

The consortium is led by Sydney-based company, Jacobsen Venue Management, which operates the successful Sydney Entertainment Centre and Sydney Capitol Theatre. The company has also been involved in the development and/or management of other venues including the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Newcastle Entertainment Centre. The company has also consulted to governments and city councils.

Other members of the consortium are Bovis Lend Lease, which is the project management company and is recognised as one of the major construction/management companies in the world; the New Zealand firm Mainzeal Construction; and Miami-based Jack Utsick Presents, one of the world’s leading concert promoters and venue owners.

Construction of the arena is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

The consortium’s architects for the project, Crawford Architects, have offices in Kansas City and Sydney, and specialise in the design of arenas, stadia, sports facilities and exhibition and convention centres.

Kevin Jacobsen says the architects have worked closely with the council ensuring that the new design is within the scope of the existing resource consent, and complies with the rules of the city’s district plan.

“We have also had input from Ngati Whatua, as well as input from some of the future hirers including sports and entertainment organisations.”

Kevin Jacobsen says the consortium does not propose any changes to the already approved traffic, parking and noise measures in the existing resource consent.

“The variation is required only to accommodate the revised design.”

Independent planning commissioners will make the final decision on the application and any conditions that the consortium must abide by.

Auckland City’s community planning manager Mark Vinall says the revised design has been submitted for comment to the recently formed independent urban design panel. The panel is convened by Professor John Hunt of the University of Auckland.

Council’s planning staff will now assess the application against the rules of the district plan.

The staff report and the urban design panel’s comments will then be referred to the independent commissioners for a decision.

The commissioners are expected to make their decision in March.

The Quay Park Arena Management application can be viewed at City Planning, Level 11, Civic Building, 1 Greys Avenue. A summary of the application has been placed on the council’s website: www.aucklandcity.govt.nz

Ends

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